MARRIOTT BUZZ NO. 9 - 2016 - page 6

A Glimpse into the Foundation
of a Landmark:
The Gezira
Sporting Club
"History is
a cyclic poem
written by
time upon
the memories
of man."
Percy Bysshe Shelley
heGeziraSportingClub isundeniablyoneof Egypt’s landmarks; known for its spacious
grounds,many sporting facilities and, of course, theelite statusof itsmembers. The real
story lies in the richhistoryof thecluband theevolution itwent through tobecomewhat it
is today…
Before theclubwasbuilt, the 150
acresof landwerepart of the
Khedivial botanical gardens. The
beautiful landscapingwasdone
byDelchevalerie, the landscaper
of Paris. A fewyears later, The
GeziraPalace (nowTheCairo
MarriottHotel)wasbuilt to serve
as aguest house for Ismail Pasha’s
guests for SuezCanal opening
in 1869, themost notablewere
EmpressEugenieof Franceand
Emperor Franz-Josef ofAustria.
ThePalace, locatedacross the
street from theClub, had47acres
of gardens and the rest of the
islandwasdividedbetween the
Viceregal Daira (Khedivial estates)
and theRomanCatholicChurch.
The landwas leased to theBritish
Army in 1882. Club ruleswere
set and the landwasdivided
into several playgrounds. The
club (whichwas thennamed
Khedivial SportingClub inhonor
of KhediveMohammedTawfik)
wasexclusively for theuseof
automaticallyenrolled. Later on,
and the recommendationsof two
“good standing”members.
Therewereabout 750members,
with lifemember feesof just
L.E. 50andguest daypasses for
1,2,3,4,5 7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,...40
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